The effects of context-dependent and context-independent test design on Iranian EFL learners' performance on vocabulary tests

Mahmoud Abdi Tabari


The purpose of this study was to explore on the role of context in vocabulary assessment. In addition, it was intended to determine how learners from almost different proficiency groups at the Intermediate level performed on two context-dependent and context-independent tests. The result of the research serves more about the best format for vocabulary assessment. In doing so, the performance of identical items on both the matching test (context-independent test) and the C-test (context-dependent test) was compared on English L2 university students (n=40). The result showed that all students performed slightly better on the matching test than the C-test. Therefore, Context did not play a major role in their performance in the C-test. Secondly, high intermediate learners performed much better on both test than the low Intermediate level. Hence, it can be concluded that higher ability learners use more context in response to items in the text than the lower one.

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